Opposition lawmakers gatecrash Hong Kong chief executive’s National Day speech

Newly elected Democratic Party lawmakers called for CY Leung to step down during National Day reception on Saturday morning

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 October, 2016, 10:19am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 October, 2016, 2:08am

The 67th National Day yesterday was marked with demonstrations by the pan-democrats in different ceremonies and bad weather throughout the day.

At the flag-raising ceremony, about 20 protesters led by lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung attempted to reach the Golden Bauhinia Square, where government officials and guests held umbrella to shield themselves from the rain.

The protestors called for the end of one-party rule and pursuit of justice for the Tiananmen Square crackdown on June 4, 1989. The group left after burning their petition letter.

Following the ceremony, eight pan-democrats made a brief appearance at the morning reception inside the Convention and Exhibition Centre and protest against the chief executive while he was giving a speech.

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They shouted “down Leung Chun-ying” for about a minute before being thrown out of the by a fleet of security guards.

Leung carried on with his speech next to Beijing liaison office chief Zhang Xiaoming without any deterrent, stressing that Hong Kong would seize the opportunities under China’s 13th five-year plan.

It was unusual for the high number of pan-democrats to appear in the annual reception. The seven incoming lawmakers and one district councillor, all from Democratic Party, wore black suits and prepared black placards read “CY step down” for the protest.

“The Democratic Party was not here for partying, we are here to protest against CY Leung and urged him to step down,” said James To Kun-sun. “The target for us to attend the reception has been met.”

“We believe our voices have been heard. We let the guests know about the opposing voices.”

The eight including Legco firstimers Lam Cheuk-ting, Roy Kwong Chun-yu, Hui Chi-fung and Andrew Wan Siu-kin, as well as Mid-level’s district council member Ng Siu-hon, gathered to meet the press outside the venue.

Hui said he was pushed onto the ground by guards before they were escorted out.

Last year, the pan-democrats including both Democratic Party and Civic Party were also invited but they decided to boycott the ceremony.

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Before the reception, a number of prominent figures left the venue early before it started at 8.30am.

Those who left included some of Leung’s top supporters such as Exco member Cheung Chi-kong, Exco member and chairman of the governing council of the University of Hong Kong Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, and former police commissioner Tang King-shing.

Professor Nelson Chow Wing-sun, who heads the government’s retirement study, said he had to leave early because of the poor weather.

“My trousers are all wet from the heavy rain during the flag-rising ceremony,” Chow said.

“There was no cover and we cannot raise an umbrella. It is so uncomfortable and I wanted to leave and get changed.”